Final Cut Pro X helps small company delight world’s biggest clients

Apr 20, 2016

From an open creative space in East London, Trim Editing develops bold messaging for the biggest brands, including Audi, Nike, Adidas, Guinness, and Perrier. Their work has earned critical acclaim, highlighted by the ingenious interactive Honda spot The Other Side that won numerous awards including two Cannes Lions and the prestigious Creative Circle Gold of Golds. And their projects are viewed across the world, including the hugely popular 2015 holiday ad for John Lewis department stores that has been seen over 24M times online. Yet Trim’s home is miles from the bustling film-business hub of Soho. With just a few edit suites, seven editors, and off-the-shelf hardware and software, the company has become a leader in creative editing in just over a decade.

For visionary directors, Trim is the go-to resource for putting their dreams on the screen. “At Trim we focus quite strongly on working with directors, and doing the best work with the best director regardless of budget,” says editor Thomas Grove Carter. “If you do good work, eventually you’ll be doing the good work that pays.”

Today, Trim does the good work that pays, thanks in part to the flexibility of Final Cut Pro X, its go-to video editing software. The app allows Trim’s editors to work closely alongside its director clients, quickly finessing creative visions with maximum experimentation and minimum busywork. In client sessions, Final Cut Pro X allows editors to make changes on the fly while the timeline is still playing. Faster editing means Trim clients can see their new ideas realized more quickly on screen.

Focused on creativity.

Trim formed in 2004 almost by accident. Current partners Tom Lindsay and Dominic Leung joined forces with founder Paul Hardcastle, largely to share a workspace for editing music videos. “It wasn’t started with a pure intent of being an editorial company,” says Lindsay. “It was a way of sharing the rent.” As the in-demand trio moved into high profile commercial work, bigger clients required a more formal business structure.

Trim’s tech infrastructure is built on Apple hardware and simple third-party accessories. “We’ve stayed away from expensive outboard gear,” Leung says. “We’ve got stuff you can pretty much pick up anywhere.” By using affordable, powerful Mac computers that simply work, the team has more time and money to invest in the best creative ideas.

Editor Thomas Grove Carter introduced the Trim team to Final Cut Pro X, having worked with Final Cut Studio while in University. The addition of crucial new features in Final Cut Pro X finally convinced Trim to fully embrace the system. “At 10.1, when the file management changed [to include libraries], that was a massive thing. It was so logical and it made so much sense,” says Lindsay. “It really opened up bedroom editing in a lot of small companies, and Trim was definitely a part of that.”

Truly collaborative edit sessions.

As Trim’s business and income have grown, its editing workflow has evolved as well, helping the team work faster and more productively. “You have an idea and you can execute it 20 percent quicker and that just helps the creative flow,” says Leung.

Rather than building edits beforehand and presenting them to directors, Trim’s editors can work in real time alongside directors and clients, making the process unusually collaborative. “Sometimes there’ll be up to ten people or more in your edit suite,” says Leung. “For us, editing is a collaboration.” Carter adds, “If someone suggests something, there’s no reason not to try it out, because it’s so easy to do it.”

Final Cut Pro X speeds up the basic tasks of organizing media, allowing editors to tag, filter, and find specific shots much more quickly than ever before. “Clients say, ‘Oh, what about this shot? What about that shot?’ And almost by the time someone’s said it you can find the shot,” says Leung. Once a workable edit has been created, the system helps editors try new ways to make it even better. “With Final Cut Pro X, the time I save gives me more freedom to experiment, to investigate what the edit is—or what it can be,” says Carter. “It leaves you in a better position to just try stuff out.”